How important was Emmeline Pankhurst in obtaining the franchise for women?
Emmeline Pankhurst, an exceedingly passionate woman with especially controversial views for her time played a crucial role in obtaining the franchise for women. She was born on the 14th of July 1858 into a family with radical political views and later went on to marrying Richard Pankhurst, a lawyer and a strong supporter in the Franchise campaign. Although she was not the only element in obtaining the Franchise she did play a very significant role.
Emmeline contributed to obtaining the vote for women in more than one way. She was the founder of the Women’s Franchise League and the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) of which she led both vigorously for much of her existence. Her leadership and enthusiasm on the matter meant that her voice was heard and therefore she was able to motivate and guide British women into fighting their case. Her extremist approach was powerful and shocking which showed the British public of how seriously she was taking the campaign. When being put in prison Emmeline Pankhurst severe hunger strike meant that she was forced fed. Her immense willpower shows her determination further.
However, the campaigning was controversial and the extremist approach was not seen as a positive thing from everyone. Many people were put of by the violent campaigning where windows were broken, buildings were set on fire and bombs were thrown. In some ways this meant that the movement was counterproductive because the government was not being persuaded efficiently.
Although Emmeline Pankhurst actions undoubtedly contributed to the obtaining of the franchise for women, other events in society also had a significant impact. World War One meant that women were forced to work in those industries traditionally dominated by men. Due to this women were able to be more independent and therefore less reliant of their husbands. They were also seen as more equal because they were...